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Please note that the Sustained Investigation and the Range of Approaches sections below are from two different students’ portfolios.  

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  • I was born in the year of Rabbit. I can actually relate to this zodiac very well: I get lonely easily and I am very shy. My concentration relates the animals from the Chinese Zodiacs with the personality of characters, depicting how the inside and the outside together form a complete self. It also how a person is defined with several personalities, just like in real life.
  • In my concentration, I developed characters based on the personality traits the animals represent for me. My concentration is in the same order as Chinese Zodiac, from the Rat (image 1) to the Pig (image 3). The Rat (image 1) is a greedy salesman, wearing a fancy suit. His pleading hand position demonstrates his talkativeness and misleadingness, and the snack in his mouth parallelize with the rats stealing jelly beans. For the Rabbit (image 4), I depicted the timidness with the girl facing down, and I demonstrated connection between the mademoiselle and rabbit, their elegance, with carefully tailored frilled attire typical of a wealthy. The Dragon (image 5) is the only mythical creature in the Chinese Zodiac, so I decided to create a crowned queen to depict its admirable power, with her stubborn face to depict her ego from the power. For the Horse (image 7), the hair, medal, uniform, and the body position create movement, depicting how horse and athletes are both very fast and energetic. The medal also connects to how athletes use rewards for a driving force, just like how horses use carrots.

Rationale for Score

  • The topic, the personality of characters defined by attributes of the animals of the Chinese zodiac, is successfully integrated with most of the work presented. Each sculpture is a different “person” with individual traits and outfits that reflect the zodiac animals adorning the heads.
  • The investigation of the topic provides evidence of thoughtful decision making and discovery in some works. The expressions on the characters’ faces, the mannerisms of the bodies, the color and arrangement of clothing are all considered. Examples are the bowing shyness of the rabbit character (image 4), the athletic energy of the horse character (image 7), and the military protectiveness of the dog character (image 11).
  • The work for the sustained investigation generally demonstrates original and innovative ideas; examples include the work in images 1, 4, 5, 10; in these works, the integration of clay with the other materials used is particularly effective.
  • Overall, the work shows a strong understanding and effective application of 3-D design principles as in images 2, 4, 5, and 11; some pieces, such as those in images 8, 9, 12, are less successful.
  • In general, the work is technically strong; materials and media, (jelly beans, buttons, pipe cleaners, fake pearls, fabric, and clay) are used well to express ideas, and expertise (facial gestures and clothing fabrications) with some skills is evident, particularly in images 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 11.

Rationale for Score

  • The work shows a strong application of 3-D design principles (repetition, rhythm, balance, proportion, and occupied/unoccupied space) to a range of design problems as demonstrated in images 1a-1b, 4a-4b, and 8a-8b.
  • The work demonstrates a range of original and innovative ideas, and effective manipulation of the elements (line, form, occupied/unoccupied space, and light) and principles of 3-D design (repetition, rhythm, balance, and variety), which is seen in images 1a-1b, 3a-3b, and 7a-7b.
  • The work demonstrates a variety of intentions or approaches from architecture (images 5a-5b and 6a-6b), to structure (images 1a-1b and 3a-3b), to compactness and mass (images 4a-4b and 7a-7b), to space and atmosphere (images 2a-2b and 8a-8b).
  • Most of the work engages the viewer with expressive and evocative qualities; the work suggests confidence in exploring space with the readily available materials, for example, in images 1a-1b, 3a-3b, and 4a-4b.
  • The work is technically strong; materials and media (museum board, balsa wood, paper, foam core, wood, and cardboard) are used well to express ideas, for example, in images 1a-1b, 6a-6b, and 7a-7b. The work shows exploration of the manipulation of these materials to create a range of strong 3D-design solutions.